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Stories Behind Nicknames

Everybody has a nickname, and there’s usually a story to go with it. Martha and Grant reveal their own nicknames and the stories behind them. Speaking of nicknames, the word nickname has an interesting etymology. It’s an example of a...

Philtrum, the Love Dimple

Greetings earthlings! In our latest podcast, Martha muses about the "love dimple." You know, that little dent in your upper lip? It's called a "philtrum." The erotic origins of this word prove once again that etymology is...

The Love Dimple (minicast)

What’s the name for that little dent in your upper lip? It’s called a “philtrum.” Martha reveals the erotic origins of this word, and proves once again that etymology is nothing if not sexy.

hoss election

hoss election  n.— «When they read the column here pondering the origin of the term “Hoss Elections,” a Hawai’i phrase used to describe those senior class hall-of-fame awards in high school, the Valdez’s were the only ones to...


guap n. (a lot of) money. Editorial Note: The speculative etymology given in the April 2005 cannot be substantiated. Less common variant spellings include “gwap” and “gwop.” (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)